Today we had the day to explore Zion Canyon. So after showering (only had a token for an 8 minute shower) so you hurry up because you don't want to run out of water, then find you still have 4 minutes of time left. We went to the visitors centre and looked around. Forecast did not look good, thunderstorms. We all jumped on the park shuttle up to "The Grotto", which was the stop that we would start our first of many hikes from. We were doing the Angels landing hike. The hike was about a five mile round trip, climbing up a massive chunk of rock and if I remember correctly a climb of about 13oo feet ? So we climbed up and up, past Wally's Wobbles and finally got up to one of the landings.
Even this view was quite spectacular. After a short break we made our way to Scotts landing, which involved a few dicey moments where you have to hang onto a chain to get along the trail. Why a chain, because there is a huge drop if you slip. There we were at Scotts landing. Very nice view, but nowhere near the end. After a fair deal of umming and ahhing we decided to take on Angels Landing. It was a fairly tough climb up with a lot more chains and some parts that looked like they were designed for rock climbers. But the view from the top was well worth the climb and I had a great feeling of achievement. Now the hard part, getting back down. It was just as tough, if not tougher getting down, maybe because you are always looking down and you see how high you really are, and how fall you would fall.
We decided to do the riverwalk hike to see the narrows, which involved us getting back on the bus and up to the "Temple of Sinawava". The hike followed the river (I bet you never guessed that) and was nice and flat, a mile (1.6km for you metric dudes) each way. We got up to the end of the trail which was defined by the river itself. So off came the boots and across we went. The water was nice and chilly. The problem was that we put our shoes back on after crossing the river. As the trail went straight back into the river just around the bend. We decided to turn back as it was a bit hard on the feet in the cold water. Back on the right side of the river putting the boots back on and the weather let us know who was boss. The wind came up and it stared to chuck it down. We had to walk a mile back to the bus in the pouring rain. Needless to say we looked like drown rats.
Back in the shuttle bus, to the cafe outside our campground. That was one of the nicest coffees I have ever had. After drying off and eating a good feed we went down to watch an Imax movie on Zion and the surrounds of the southwest. It was awesome and winter time looked great. Will have to come back for that : )